Essential Information For Living In Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic
Cost of Living Price Guide For Las Terrenas Dominican Republic revised August 2016
Currency conversion rate Used RD$45.97 = US$1
Las Terrenas has a population of almost 40,00 there are over 4,000 Expats from over 20 different countries living in and around Las Terrenas most being from France, Italy and Germany but with a reversal in buying trends it is the North Americans and Canadians who are totaling over 30% of current property sales.
This is so evident that both the local and National government have introduced a programme that will make it compulsory for schools to give English lessons.
The English speaking community is growing with several meeting places and Facebook pages that enable new people to find friends, knowledge and Information easily.
The Official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish but English, French, Italian and German along with other European languages are spoken in Las Terrenas and the Samana Peninsula.
You will also find English is spoken in the capital and other major cities and tourist areas!
Most of our clients are from Canada and the USA so we know what issues and problems most will need answering.
We have put this list together based on our own experiences and knowledge but of course other companies and people may offer the same services!
We are often asked about the cost of the average weekly grocery shopping list.
Cost of Living Price Guide For Las Terrenas Dominican Republic
Weekly Shopping cost:
I have based the cost on two adults for the supply of food to include meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, salad items, tinned and dry goods, soft drinks, alcohol two bottles of French wine, 5 x 1 litre bottles of beer, drinking water and household cleaning products.
This produce is purchased from the supermarkets, the local fruit and vegetable shops and the fish market on the beach.
We generally do a large shop once a week then buy your fresh things such as fish, Shrimps and fruit and vegetables when required in the week.
The total average shop is RD$4431 or US$97.05 per week
Of course if you don’t drink or are a vegetarian then the total will be RD$1500 per week or US$32.85
View link: Supermarket Super Pola
Monthly Utility bills:
Electricity in Las Terrenas is RD$12.95 or US$0.28 per KWH but we have it 24/7 with outage only occurring for repairs on average the power is off less than 10 hours per month.
Monthly electric bill without air-conditioning two adults in an apartment RD$2000 or US$43.81
Monthly electric cost to run a large swimming pool for 3 hours a day approximately RD$2500 or US$54.75
LPG is used for cooking and in some homes hot water priced at RD$80.80 per gallon monthly cost for two adults RD$325 or US$7.11
Gasoline and diesel prices per gallon:
Regular Gasoline RD$163 or US$3.57
Premium Gasoline RD$176 or US$3.85
Diesel Regular RD$155 or US$3.39
Diesel Premium RD$178 or US$3.89
Cost of Living Price Guide For Las Terrenas Dominican Republic
Typical Costs for House Services and Staff:
Full time Gardener/Handy/Pool man RD$9,000 a month or US$197
If you find the right person they should be able to carry out most small jobs and repairs and running errands.
Full time Maid/housekeeper RD$9,000 a month or US$197
Part time staff expect to pay around RD$600 to RD$800 a day
Most maids will also cook if asked to do so and even do the shopping and baby sit children and pets.
Security guard doing 12 hour 7 days a week RD$10,000 a month US$219
There are wage regulations and laws that protect the worker all staff employed both full time and part time are entitled to holidays and holiday pay, this is usually paid at the end of the year as the 13 month.
Full time usually consists of the following:
Working from 8.00am to 5.00pm with 1 1/2 hours for lunch Monday through to Saturday
Labour rates for Builders and craftsmen such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers vary a lot and it is always advised to use someone who has been recommended to you one that can offer a guarantee.
Most of these trades will quote for the job if a crafts man can not offer a written quote or his quote seems to good to be true then do not use them as it will end in tears!
Expect to pay between RD$1,000 to RD$2,000 or US$21.90 to US$43.81 for a painter and less skilled trades men but be advised that you will have to supervise them!
The government spent many millions on installing a new potable water system that supplies fresh water to most of the town.
I would not drink it myself due to various connection issues, It is quite safe to shower, clean your teeth and cook with, but buy the large 5 gallon bottles of purified water available everywhere for drinking costing RD$50 or US$1.09
Las Terrenas truly has an International mix of restaurants from Dominican to German from French to Mexican. Dishes such as the classic Dominican Sancocho to Japanese Sushi catering for all tastes and budgets.
You can eat out in a restaurants and walk out feeling stuffed for as little as RD$100 or US$2.19
The average cost of a 3 course meal for two in a good quality restaurant such as the Le Tre Caravelle without drinks will be around RD$2500 or US$54.76
A half decent bottle of wine will cost you RD$1300 or US$28.47 in a restaurant and a small bottle of beer will cost from RD$100 to RD$150 or US$2.19 to US$3.28
Of course certain bars will sell wine and beers at lower costs or give you a bigger bottle for that same cost, this is where local knowledge comes in and we are more than happy to share it with our friends and clients!
Always remember there will be tourist priced bars and restaurants with higher prices than the places that cater for local residents, half the fun is trying a new place every time you go out to dine and discovering that little gem!
Las Terrenas is all about beach life and being relaxed but here are a few simple rules that should be applied to respect the local community.
Beach wear is for the beach and certain beach bars, so please do not walk down the streets go to restaurants and shops in bikinis or shorts please cover up with a simple t-shirt, vest, top or sarong this applies to both men and women.
It is quite acceptable to spend the day and night in shorts and a t-shirt, vest and flip-flops, although Jeans and t-shirts are acceptable attire at night people in Las Terrenas and in particular Dominicans dress up to go out and be seen!
Like all countries we have crime most is opportunist theft with violent crime mostly local issues.
Please do not believe the stories that All inclusive hotel operators tell guests to keep them in the hotel that it is not safe to walk the streets a total load of nonsense.
The Dominicans are some of the most welcoming and helpful people in the world and in Las Terrenas we are blessed to have more than our fair share.
They acknowledge and respect both foreign residents and tourists a like and will look after any one that needs help and stop any one that causes trouble.
Of course you are in a foreign country with a different culture and it is sensible to not leave valuables and possessions on the beach or in restaurants and bars unattended as they might go missing.
At night be a little more cautious as like all countries alcohol can create problems that would not arise in the day!
The Police force:
We have several different police sectors in Las Terrenas, you will see a lot of tourist police in white tops and blue trousers, they are in the town to ensure tourists and residents are safe and not harassed.
The main Police station has English speaking officers in case of an emergency who take any incident against a foreigner very seriously.
Banking and ATMS:
Las Terrenas has several banks located in the main shopping areas of the town centre. They all have ATM machines that supply funds in RD$ Peso the maximum is usually RD$10,000 at a time.
Opening hours are usually 9.00am to 4.00am and until 12.00pm on Saturday.
Banks will also give money to Visitors and non-residents over the counter using your Credit Card Identification is required and it is an added bonus if you’re accompanied by an existing customer who can vouch for you!
Opening a Bank account is quite straightforward for non-residents again it is advisable to go with an existing account holder who can vouch for you but not essential.
You will need proof of identification usually a passport and a letter of recommendation and good standing from you’re overseas bank or banks details of existing accounts and your source of funds transfers over US$10,000 will be held up by the receiving bank until you can verify the source of funds.
Banks are legally obliged to carry out all the necessary background checks which could take up to 30 days especially if you are funding your account via a cheque!
You can open both a RD$ peso account and US$ account the minimum funding is RD$5,000 and US$500 for either account and minimum balances must be maintained.
Most banks will offer Internet banking services, various accounts, debit and credit cards along with mortgages and loans.
Banks and even different branches can deliver very different customer services it is important to get recommendations from people who have lived and operated bank accounts in Las Terrenas.
We are often asked about insurance of all types and who to use!
From our own experience we always recommend using a large national company rather than the small agents that are resellers.
We have used Universal for m,any years for both Health, home and car insurance they have a office in Las Terrenas at the Plaza Milan
The main company web site is https://www.universal.com.do/productos_parati/Paginas/default.aspx
Prices are very competitive with local health insurance plans from RD$1000 a month but as with all policies it depends on age and health
Property Insurance starts at around US$600 a year we pay US$2,000 a year for our large house with pool this covers all the buildings and fixtures and fittings
Car Insurance we both pay around RD$10,000 a year but there are many different policy types but depending on the age of your car some will not be available.
Las Terrenas Office
Juan Pablo Duarte Street No. 238, Plaza Milano. 2nd. Floor.
Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. At 5:00 p.m. Saturday from 9:00 a.m. At 1:00 p.m.
There is good internet service with many plans but this is mainly to properties in the town centre that have access to phone cables or the new fibre optic lines.
See this link for further information and plans although you would have to check the availability at any chosen property http://www.claro.com.do/wps/portal/do/sc/personas/internet/internet-fijo
Out side of the town most people rely on WIFI via satellite which can be excellent if you live in area that has good tower communications. This can be expensive if you need a lot of speed see this link http://www.claro.com.do/wps/portal/do/sc/personas/internet/internet-fijo#info-02
Claro is the number one company and I would recommend them, there web site is large and has a lot of information.
On average you will look at paying RD$2200 or US$48.19 per month for an unlimited down load service but with only a speed of 2.5mb
Phone and Mobile services:
Most people rely on their mobiles you can have various plans or just buy cards as you need them please note all mobiles purchased or being used in the Dominican Republic on a local plan or using phone cards has to be registered as of June 2014
See this link for information http://www.claro.com.do/wps/portal/do/sc/personas/telefonia-fija
You can get fixed line or wireless fixed line services these of course will be cheaper than using a mobile to make international calls the other alternative is to use Skype of Magic Jack as a lot of USA residents here do
If you have property in town or close to major roads then you can get access to cable T.V both local and International programmes we don’t have Dish Network so you have to rely on local stations or:
SKY TV satellite package starting at RD$950 or US$20.81 per month
Telenord local cable fibre optic with International channels start at RD$500 or US$10.95 per month
Schools and Colleges:
There are many schools in Las Terrenas offering both local and International curriculum education to recognised standards.
The list is subject to change:
Las Terrenas International School ;
Preschool (3 and 4 year olds)
Pre-Primary/Kindergarten (5 and 6 year olds)**1st and 2nd Grades (6, 7 and 8 year olds)
Preschool and Pre-Primary/Kindergarten will both be completely bilingual in English and Spanish. 1st/2nd grades will be taught in English with some Spanish components and activities.
In Las Terrenas, Samana there is a school that supports the French National Education system with the support of CNED
French school or call them on 1-829 554 8033.
There are several that teach lessons in Spanish there are also both French and English schools.
There are several that teach lessons in Spanish there are also both French and English schools, teaching subjects that lead to Internationally recognised qualifications.
There are a wide range of private colleges teaching in both Spanish, French and English a whole range of subjects that lead to Internationally recognised qualifications.
Transportation local National and International:
Getting around the town is easy on foot but if required there are taxis but most popular and the cheapest are the many Moto Conchos (motor bikes) that transport you from zone to zone for around RD$25 or US$0.55
They are quite skilled and have to be licensed so getting two passengers on a bike is quite normal, if safety is a concern go solo!
There are also local buses that go to various destinations such as the capital Santo Domingo from RD$350 or US$7.66 and Guaguas that are mini buses or pick-up-trucks that run frequently to local destinations they stop as requested and are very cheap as you share them with other travelers.
Las Terrenas is served with a fantastic toll highway that runs from just outside the town all the way to the capital Santo Domingo. It takes less than two hours with some fantastic scenery along the way the total cost including gasoline is RD$4000 or US$87.62
Samana International at El Catey (AZS)
See this link for more details: http://www.beachtownproperty.com/flight-schedules-el-catey-samana/
Santo Domingo Las Americas International (SDQ)
This is the countries major international airport serving most of the world it is just a 2 hour drive to Las Terrenas using the highways
See this link for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Américas_International_Airport
There are several car, Scooter and quad hire companies in Las Terrenas that offer good quality and well maintained vehicles for daily and weekly rental.
Rental rates will vary depending on the season.
Four door car or SUV rates from US$45 to US$65 per day.
Quads rates from US$35 to US$50 per day.
Scooters and motor bikes from US$20 to US$35 per day.
Please check the insurance policy and contract before you hire a vehicle and it is recommended that you wear a crash helmet on both motor bikes and Quads.
Buying cars and other means of transport:
They are available in Las Terrenas but they will be used and have no real guarantee, I would recommend going with some one who knows cars to places such as La Vega, Santiago or Santo Domingo to purchase new and used cars, there is every make of car dealership and a whole host of used dealers to choose from. Most dealers even second-hand will offer a warranty.
See this link for car prices on-line http://www.supercarros.com/ the prices are expensive on this web site so take of about 15%
Buying a Quad, ATV or Scooter:
These can be purchased both new and used easily in Las Terrenas with prices for Scooters the same as most other cities as they are all imported from China.
Scooters new are around US$1000 for a nice 150cc model a new Quad will set you back for a 4×4 500cc about US$8000
Used Quads can be picked up for US$1500 and Used Scooters from US$400 from both private owners and rental companies.
Mail and Package delivery Services:
There is a national mail service but it is not very reliable and should only really be used if you want to post letters or postcards that don’t matter.
For all your inward bound parcels or documents I would recommend using
CPS Todd who owns and runs the local branch is American and offers all sorts of great services their costs are about the best but remember shipping is not cheap like it is in the USA or Europe see this link
For sending parcels and documents I would recommend UPS they have a local branch that offers an excellent service
Living Guide and Costs Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic
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